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Ever wonder what goes into designing a scent? Well, block out the next 15 minutes of your life and get ready to hear all about the genesis of La Nuit de Bohème directly from Anna Sui herself, who shared this great behind-the-scenes photo and gave us these notes on inspiration, muse selection, and how it all came together.
“I have to say that I really do enjoy the entire process of creating a fragrance,” the designer told us. “I am very much involved in every single step. Every time I see a new fragrance coming to life, I’m even more inspired.”
What’s that they say about cocktail hour—it’s 5 o’clock somewhere? It must be someone’s birthday too, right? Let our new Gifted posts point you in the direction of stylish presents all year long.
Makassar ebony. Cypress needle. Muscari. If you don’t have a plant-identification book handy, these names might sound like sci-fi fodder. But they’re all naturally occurring elements from good old Mother Earth, and more importantly, they’re ingredients in some of our favorite Voluspa offerings.
These amber-, amethyst- and otherwise dark-hued specimens feel especially right as the leaves and the weather turn and rich, earthy, autumnal notes permeate our world. And boy do they permeate: Voluspa’s clean-burning, coconut-wax blend optimizes the fragrance throw, so the scent all but slithers out of the glass and snakes around the entire room.
With dark, Baroque-esque packaging that looks like it might also have aesthetic roots in Victorian-era decor, this is our best bet for an end-of-October treat.
SHOP ALL: Voluspa
“My Burberry is the true embodiment of our brand, in scent, in design and in attitude. A fragrance that takes its lead from the iconic Burberry trench has to be outstanding in every way.” —Christopher Bailey, chief creative director & CEO, Burberry
Capturing the essence of a London garden after the rain, My Burberry is more than just the newest fragrance from a beloved British icon; it’s the brand’s signature scent. For a launch this important, Burberry tapped Kate Moss and Cara Delevigne to star in a campaign shot by none other than Mario Testino.
We’re excited about the recent launch of Velvet Orchid, the newest fragrance from designer Tom Ford. The Black Orchid perfume Tom Ford released in 2006 has been wildly popular, with fans falling for the intoxicating notes that made it unique.
Now, the brand puts a twist on the original to create a new scent that stands on its own. Both are deeply sensuous, with oriental florals that transport you directly into a balmy, exotic garden, but Velvet Orchid proves a more tender foil to Black Orchid’s femme fatale. Cool citrus, warm honey and spiced rum mix with dramatic petal notes that all combine for a lavish fragrance like none other.
Tom Ford’s Velvet Orchid is online now and hits stores later this month.
We’re excited about summer fragrances that not only smell great in the heat, but also evoke the perfect sunny retreat. We asked Sarah Zaret and Iris Brostowicz—two of our Beauty Stylists who specialize in fragrance—to spill on the most delectable new and classic scents inspired by summer memories.
Lei It On: Say, “summer vacation” and instantly an island getaway comes to mind. We all agree that nothing smells more like paradise than exotic flowers. Bronze Goddess from Estée Lauder teams classic suntan coconut with Tahitian gardenia. Sarah says it makes her want to turn up Ziggy Marley’s “Beach in Hawaii” for an instant mahalo moment. Eau de Lune by Laura Mercier picks mysterious plumeria to linger above other white florals and musk. The results? The perfect scent for an intimate island evening spent in a moonlit grotto. Iris loves BVLGARI Omnia Coral for a “fresh, fruity scent that somehow doesn’t overpower the senses on a sweltering day.” We bet the delicious combination of sparkling citrus with the allure of hibiscus will keep you cool in the cabana.
Stylist Tip: Summer gives perfume a one-two punch. Scents smell stronger on the skin, but sweat makes staying power take a dive. The solution? For easiest wear, opt for fragrances with excellent sillage but fewer spicy and sweet notes.
Island Longing: The noses at Bond No. 9 blended Shelter Island to recall every detail of a laid-back Long Island summer. Starting with an opulent opening of precious oud, shore-skimming marine notes quickly lure you to grab your weekender and escape the big city. Our experts love that this unisex scent satisfies both women and men looking to break out of their summer fragrance box.
Gold Coast: Feeling even more adventurous? Iris suggests Rive d’Ambre by Tom Ford for its “warm and compelling” notes. “It wraps the wearer in a blend of citrus fruits and amber. Based in essential oils, this perfume elevates daily fragrance,” she says. We couldn’t have made it sound any more daringly delicious.
Scent Staycation: Finally, for those of us who can’t get away, we can always take a journey of the mind with a great summer read. Iris cites The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende as a fave because it “pulls you into its complexities and fully entertains your mind. I would pair it with Oyédo by diptyque. It’s just as complex and fulfilling to the nose as the book is to the reader.” Yuzu citrus lends its multifaceted Asian charm to this intricate olfactory treat, named after Edo, the former name of Tokyo.
For more summer fragrance suggestions—from fresh to floral to fruity—visit our Summer Scents Shop.
Photo credits: Mona Lee, Liz Marklewicz, Stefanie Frank, Marcie Rouman & Amy Morgan
Dads are notoriously hard to shop for. That’s why, for the past few weeks, we’ve been rounding up inspiration from a few real dads here at Nordstrom HQ to create this handy mini gift guide for Father’s Day. Head over to the Men’s Shop Daily blog for ideas that help take the guesswork out of shopping for your Man of the Moment.
Of course, here at the Beauty Blog, we have a penchant for fragrance, so we can’t talk gifts without adding a short list of our favorite colognes du jour.
Still feeling stumped? Find loads more for Dad in our Father’s Day Gift Shop.
Mother’s Day is just a week away, and while every mom is unique, you can never go wrong with a chic fragrance gift that she can enjoy all year. Whether yours prefers the classics or something a little more exotic, one of these distinctive beauty gift sets is sure to suit her special personality.
A duet of sharp citrus and bright floral notes, Tory Burch’s debut namesake scent is an essential feminine fragrance that comes in a gorgeous bottle. Set includes eau de parfum and body lotion as well as an additional travel-size eau de parfum spray, all packaged in a sleek, polished box that’s perfect for gifting.
With just a spritz of scent, you can join us on a journey of the senses where landmark destinations—from London to Tokyo— are the inspiration for intoxicating fragrances and fragrance picks.
“Discover a brand new perfume or take a mini vacation from your signature scent,” says Kate Fannin, our Beauty Trend editor. “If scents can truly transport you, why not hop to Paris, London, New England, Tokyo or Italy with our destination-inspired perfume picks? No suitcase or passport required!”
Discover our top selected fragrances for spring in our Trending Now guide.
“Irreverent and free-spirited, the Brit Rhythm woman combines a powerful femininity with a rock ‘n roll edge.” —Christopher Bailey, Burberry Chief Creative Officer
Now available at Nordstrom: Burberry Brit Rhythm for women—an iconic new fragrance from an iconic brand, and inspired by live music, youthful energy, sound and scent. Powdery and floral, it reflects a spontaneous, sensual femininity.
The Look: Embody this fragrance by complementing with Burberry beauty products—think a modern smokey eye, natural lips and fresh skin with a subtle glow, for an effortless look that has just the right amount of attitude.
The Scent: Classic and unexpected notes collide in harmony—first reaching the nose with a rush of British lavender, followed by an intoxicating orange blossom and a deep vetiver baseline.